A St. Petersburg company has launched Russia’s first ever blockchain-based intellectual property registry. The move could portend larger and more ambitious distributed ledger technology intellectual property projects among state-approved copyright royalty collection societies.
Securing Intellectual Property Rights
Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the registry was launched by a company named the United Depository of Intellectual Property Products, known by its Russian acronym EDRID. The registry has been given the same name.
Launched earlier this week and now up and running, the EDRID registry can be used for various intellectual property types, from works of literature and music to software and photography. The decentralized technology behind the registry ensures the transparency and accountability of the registry.
According to the company, a unique hash will be created for every object of intellectual property entered into the system. Data entered on the EDRID blockchain cannot be altered without the approval of all members of the chain.
Piracy in Russia a Rampant Problem, Hitherto Without a Solution
It is too early to say how popular the service will become among Russian copyright owners, but online piracy has long been a major issue in Russia. Previous efforts to combat piracy through laws and regulations have been met with little success.
EDRID, a rather small and little-known company, has created a workable blockchain-based solution for a copyright registry at a time when the country’s three state-approved collecting societies for copyright fees, RAO, RSP, and VOIS, are still in the process of developing such a registry.
About a year ago, IPChain, an intellectual property registry developed in collaboration with the government-sponsored innovation fund Skolkovo and several research institutions, was announced.
In the past, official collecting societies have been accused of insufficient operational accountability and transparency. In a bid to enhance their reputations, they turned to blockchain technology.
Russia Determined to Get IP Right
IPChain is a far more ambitious project than EDRID. Its supporters and developers say it has the potential to revolutionize the existing intellectual property rights system in Russia. Blockchain technology would allow for the registration of copyrighted material and also the ability to track transactions.
Even top-level Russian officials have identified copyright registries as one of the likeliest use cases for blockchain in the country. Russia has been working on blockchain technology solutions in banking, telecommunications, and state procurement. Vladimir Putin has been vocal about Russia developing its own blockchains.
When it comes to the protection of intellectual property rights, it is quite likely that technology will achieve what laws and regulations have failed to achieve, despite numerous attempts.
Have your say. Is the development of EDRID a positive sign of the more widespread use of blockchain in the future in Russia to protect intellectual property rights?
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